Fueling with Fiber

fiber

 

by Jay Gelvezon

Current dietary recommendations encourage Americans to increase their fiber intake (25g for women and 38g for men at age 50 or younger) – but why? Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body does not digest but is a key nutrient that contributes to good health and wellness. Fiber-rich foods help satisfy hunger and support digestion. Certain types of fiber can also reduce high serum cholesterol, which consequently can reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Apply these tips to your next snack or meal to boost your fiber intake!

  • Fruits: Grab fruit on your way out of the DC or a simply-to-go fruit cup found at the Silo. Fresh apples are a great convenient option! Spice up a bland bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit toppings, such as berries or banana slices.
  • Vegetables: Veggie up with dark leafy greens, such as kale and arugula. Build a colorful salad with a bed of spring mix or add spinach to your morning omelet or breakfast burrito. Aim to make half your plate vegetables (and fruit)!
  • Whole grains: Make a sandwich with 100% whole-wheat bread and try various whole-grain options at the DC! Try a taste of the Chicken Wild Rice Soup or the Aggie Burger made with a whole-wheat bun! Popcorn is also a whole grain food and an excellent snack – just be sure to go easy on the butter or added sugars.
  • Legumes: Legumes are a class of plant foods that include beans, lentils, peas and peanuts. Choose a bean-based soup or dip (e.g. hummus) or add beans to your salad or Tuesday tacos! Try a taste of the Curried Lentils or Split Pea Soup at the DC.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Sprinkle nuts and seeds to your salads, soups, or pasta for a crunchy fiber boost or pack a handful of nuts for a tasty, satisfying snack! Add some chopped nuts or a scoop of the nut and seed blend found at the DC.

Discover the fiber content of common foods and take this chart as a guide to help you focus on fiber in the Dining Commons, other campus dining venues, or grocery stores. Fiber is mostly found in whole, plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – include these food groups in your daily diet to help you achieve adequate fiber intake and build a healthy eating pattern.

Food Fiber Quantity Food Fiber Quantity
White flour 1 cup = 3 g Blackberries/

Raspberries

1 cup = 8 g
Wheat flour 1 cup = 14 g Apples 1 medium = 4 g
Whole wheat 1 cup = 6 g Bananas 1 medium = 3 g
Brown rice 1 cup = 4 g Black/pinto beans 1 cup = 15 g
Quinoa 1 cup = 5 g Kidney beans 1 cup = 16 g
Bulgur 1 cup = 8 g Green peas 1 cup = 14 g
Oatmeal ¼ cup = 4 g Kale 1 cup = 3 g
Popcorn 3 cups = 4 g Spinach 1 cup  = 4 g
Flaxseeds 1 tbsp = 4 g Cauliflower 1 cup = 14 g
Chia seeds 1 tbsp = 1 g Broccoli 1 cup = 5 g

Need more ideas? Try these DC food hacks and easy-to-make recipes!

Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal

Grilled Peanut Butter and Fruit Sammy

Rainbow Salad

Microwave Kale Chips

 

Sources of information:

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/fiber-groceries

http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/fiber-how-much-do-you-need?page=2

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/get-the-facts-on-fiber

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